Today we are speaking to Sean Hackemann from SME WEB ACCOUNTANTS. Sean’s firm specialises in working with growth businesses...
Morning Sean! So tell us, what's exciting you right now?
We are currently working on some fundraising projects for our clients. We’re helping them raise debt and equity funding. Getting funded to support growth is a genuine inflexion point for most businesses. It’s always exciting to be part of that kind of project: helping businesses fundamentally change and prepare for future growth.
We support our clients in the fundraising process by preparing financial models. These work out how much funding is required. A good financial model will quantify the funding requirement, by demonstrating what the funds are used for and when they are spent.
If people are interested in learning more about fundraising they can read more about it on my website http://www.corporatefinanceadviser.co.uk
We also enjoy working on a on long-term basis with our clients and helping them improve their financial management information; better information means it’s easier to make the right decisions. Everybody benefits from this: management, shareholders and funders.
Other clients approach us to prepare a valuation of their company, which is also something we do.
If money was no object, what would you do all day?
I’d spend a couple of months in the Bahamas and travel Asia with the family….Then I’d return to work, as I’m sure I’d get a bit bored on a beach all day; my work is interesting and engaging and for the most part, enjoyable!
Sounds like you’re already doing what you love!
Indeed. I am really fortunate to have my own business. Taking risks isn’t a trait accountants are well known for, but for me it’s really worked.
What is the worst/stupidest/most embarrassing thing you have done J?
Not setting up my own business sooner! :-)
Ahh! So when and why did you become a freelancer?
I saw an opportunity in the market and started in August 2015. Most accountancy and advisory firms don’t provide specialist growth services for smaller companies, but of course they too need this kind of support.
The same applies to the finance function as the company grows. Small business often need a full finance function, but aren’t ready to employ full-time staff members just yet. That’s the space we fill, by supporting our clients to achieve their long term plans.
Is there anything that no one here knows about you? What is it?
My wife Maria is a comedy cabaret performer, specialising in vintage songs from the 1930s-1940s.
Sounds very glamorous! Tell us, how did you meet?
I was on a first date at a gig and Maria was performing, which is when I first saw her. Our paths crossed at another event and it went from there…
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be an airline pilot, but I don’t have 20/20 vision. I then wanted to be guitarist with Motley Crue, but due to a complete lack of musical talent and a poor practice regime that did not happen either.
Favourite thing about GROW?
I really like talking to people and connecting with others from different backgrounds and professions, it’s enriching.
You can do your own thing here but still be part of a community. Having started my own firm it has made a big difference to my working life.
It’s also a great place to meet clients because of the logistics and facilities, plus it gets me out of the house! The Haribo Tangfastics are always a bonus.
In your opinion, what is the most valuable aspect of co working?
Connecting with people in a fairly relaxed space; it’s not like networking where you’re forced to sell yourself.
Things evolve – I’m here at GROW on a regular basis; you click with and get to know people over time. Even if you don’t work together, it still adds value to your day.
Being here has helped my own business grow in many ways. It’s great for businesses that don’t yet need their own office, but want a professional set up in a proper office space. The benefits are huge and I really enjoy it here.
Thanks very much Sean, it's great to know SMEs have somewhere they can receive the same financial advice as larger companies. We're glad GROW has been a great space to develop your business, but please don't run off to the Bahamas too soon :-)!